A Cloud-Evaporation Parameterization for General Circulation Models

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
© Get Permissions Rent on DeepDyve
Restricted access

Abstract

An evaporation-zone (EZ) model for cloud evaporation is developed. In this model a cloud consists of I “cloudlets,” each comprising cloud droplets with radii from zero to rmax, the latter value depending on the drop size distribution (DSD). Evaporation occurs only within the EZ comprised of JI cloudlets. When the cloudlet at cloud edge evaporates, the EZ progresses one cloudlet into the cloud's interior. This eventually results in evaporation of the cloud in time tE = K(H/h)r2max(1 − Se)−1, where H is the cloud thickness h the EZ thickness, Se the environmental saturation ratio, and K a constant. Values of tE(1 − Se,) versus h are presented for eight observed DSDs.

For use in atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs), the cloud evaporation process is represented by dm/dt = −(1 − Se)m/τ, where m is the cloud-water mixing ratio and τ = K(H/h)r2maxn−1. With parameter n chosen sufficiently large, a GCM cloud will evaporate virtually entirely in time tE, for example, 99.3% for n = 5.

Values of τ for use in our multilayer atmospheric GCM have been determined by performing ten perpetual-January simulations and ten perpetual-July simulations, each set of ten for prescribed pairs of τ values for stratiform (τs) and cumuloform (τc) clouds. An optimum choice of τs and τc, based on minimizing the errors of the model's simulated cloudiness, planetary albedo, outgoing longwave radiation, and precipitation, is τs = τc = 3 min. This corresponds to tE(1 − Se) = 15 min for both stratiform and cumuloform clouds; hence, to an EZ thickness of about 0.6–0.8 m for stratus, stratocumulus, and altostratus clouds, 2–3 m for nimbostratus and cumulus clouds, and 17 m for cumulonimbus clouds.

Abstract

An evaporation-zone (EZ) model for cloud evaporation is developed. In this model a cloud consists of I “cloudlets,” each comprising cloud droplets with radii from zero to rmax, the latter value depending on the drop size distribution (DSD). Evaporation occurs only within the EZ comprised of JI cloudlets. When the cloudlet at cloud edge evaporates, the EZ progresses one cloudlet into the cloud's interior. This eventually results in evaporation of the cloud in time tE = K(H/h)r2max(1 − Se)−1, where H is the cloud thickness h the EZ thickness, Se the environmental saturation ratio, and K a constant. Values of tE(1 − Se,) versus h are presented for eight observed DSDs.

For use in atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs), the cloud evaporation process is represented by dm/dt = −(1 − Se)m/τ, where m is the cloud-water mixing ratio and τ = K(H/h)r2maxn−1. With parameter n chosen sufficiently large, a GCM cloud will evaporate virtually entirely in time tE, for example, 99.3% for n = 5.

Values of τ for use in our multilayer atmospheric GCM have been determined by performing ten perpetual-January simulations and ten perpetual-July simulations, each set of ten for prescribed pairs of τ values for stratiform (τs) and cumuloform (τc) clouds. An optimum choice of τs and τc, based on minimizing the errors of the model's simulated cloudiness, planetary albedo, outgoing longwave radiation, and precipitation, is τs = τc = 3 min. This corresponds to tE(1 − Se) = 15 min for both stratiform and cumuloform clouds; hence, to an EZ thickness of about 0.6–0.8 m for stratus, stratocumulus, and altostratus clouds, 2–3 m for nimbostratus and cumulus clouds, and 17 m for cumulonimbus clouds.

Save